The used Honda CR-V has long been a solid contender in the compact crossover segment, and its popularity is well earned. It strikes an excellent balance between speed and efficiency, but Honda’s sporty little crossover is also roomy, tech-savvy, and seriously accommodating. Our used buying guide is here to help you figure out how the CR-V has changed over the years.
Fifth Generation: 2017-Current Model
The CR-V was always a segment leader, but Honda was somehow able to make it even better for the fifth generation. This batch of crossovers rolled out a turbocharged engine that combines sporty low-end torque with thrifty fuel economy, earning as much as 34 mpg on the highway. An upgraded suspension improves ride quality, smoothing out bumps in the road and reducing body roll around turns.
Look for all-wheel-drive CR-V models to help you navigate wet roads and sandy trails. Fifth-generation models also include 1.5 inches of extra ground clearance and a wider wheelbase, both of which come in handy in light off-road settings.
Inside, the fourth-generation used Honda CR-V also impresses. A new dashboard includes a digital instrument cluster and an updated touch-screen infotainment interface. Compared to previous CR-Vs, these models also offer a little extra backseat legroom. These crossovers are also great for hauling cargo. Fold down the rear seats to create 75.9 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.
Because Honda continues to update the CR-V, you may see some changes from model year to model year. So far, there haven’t been a ton of changes to these models. Here’s have you need to know:
- For 2020, the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine became standard, so you can balance sporty performance with efficiency at no extra cost. This model year also made the Honda Sensing suite of driver safety aids standard equipment.
Fourth Generation: 2012-2016
The fourth-generation CR-V came standard with more features, which is good news for used shoppers. Inside, you’ll also find more in high-quality cabin materials. Compared to older model years, these crossovers also earn better fuel mileage, with up to 29 mpg combined.
Here are a few things too look out for on the used lot:
- For 2016, the CR-V re-introduced the Special Edition (SE) trim model, which adds to the base LX features with 17-inch alloy wheels, a security system, and rear privacy glass.
- The CR-V underwent a mid-cycle refresh for the 2015 model year. A new exterior design gives this crossover a more modern look. Inside, newly optional features — like a 7-inch touch screen and rear climate vents — offer greater comfort and convenience. And the 2015 CR-V’s new continuously variable transmission improves fuel economy slightly.
Third Generation: 2007-2011
Drivers love this batch of CR-V crossovers for their family-friendly seating, high-quality cabin materials, smooth performance, and sporty handling.
Check for these model year alterations:
- The 2011 CR-V adds a new trim model, the SE, to the lineup. It slots between the base LX and mid grade EX.
- For 2010, retooled the CR-V engine enhanced performance with 14 more horsepower and 1 extra mpg on the highway. Bluetooth and a USB audio port were also added to the list of options.